Publication Type:Book Chapter
Source:Implementing Environmental and Resource Management, Springer, p.283-306 (2011)
Keywords:Actor-Network Theory, Bourdieu, hybridity, Recycling, Waste management
Recycling is a concept, normally, taken-for-granted within academic approaches to environmental management. The science of recycling usually addresses recycling as an activity which needs optimising, rather than questioning. My take on recycling differs from the standard one: I focus on possibilities to conceptualise an agent who was responsible for implementing a recycling scheme for her organisation. By way of drawing on sociological theories (especially Bourdieu's theory of practice and Actor-network theory) I point to significant problems in approaching sustainability. The empirical data consists of ethnographic field work which illustrates societal implications for thinking about transforming organisations towards sustainable conduct: By constructing a recycling scheme the waste manager of the organisation ensures that the organisation does not move towards reducing or altering resource consumption. Rather, she stabilises an unsustainable trajectory and inhibits societal transformation even beyond her organisation. Thus, sociological theory allows problematising and better grasping the societal implications and limits of environmental management.
please email the author for a copy of the paper: lippert at ems-research dot org
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